Formula 1 returns this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.


Sebastian Vettel 12-1 each way (1/3 odds 1,2) SkyBet

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari ended Mercedes’ seven-race winning streak by winning last time in Hungary ahead of Daniil Kyvat and Daniel Ricciardo. It was the first ever podium for Kyvat, the first podium of the year for Red Bull and the first double podium for Red Bull since September, 2014.

Lewis Hamilton is the clear favorite in this race at 1-2 ahead of Nico Rosberg at 5/2 and Sebastian Vettel at 12/1.

Spa-Francorchamps is known and respected as one of the most challenging circuits in the world.  It has a mix of long straights and fast corners and both drivers and fans love it because it combines those traits with a picturesque setting and a changeable weather

It is a power track, so is set fair for the Mercedes engines cars to have an advantage on the long straights particularly after eau rouge and the first DRS zone for over-taking but alongside the possibility of changeable weather the event sees the further implementation of stricter limitations on driver aids and coaching with the changes having a “a particular emphasis on race starts”.

“These measures will bring back the driver in full control of the car, enhancing races’ excitement and unpredictability,” said a governing body statement.

We have already seen an impact in recent race starts of the changes taking place, particularly Mercedes struggling to hook their cars up well, and that can be expected to continue at Spa

So the combination of more uncertain variables means unpredictability and less certain betting outcomes as we saw in Hungary. Once the Mercedes, which can be expected to occupy the front row of the grid here too, are embroiled in having to overtake cars rather than just lead from the front for the whole race, the risks of taking short odds on their victory is higher

Hamilton currently leads the F1 Driver Standings with 202 points, he has won five races this year but he is coming off a sixth place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix, his worst result this season.

Nico Rosberg has never won this race. He is second in the standings, 21 points behind Hamilton. Rosberg has three wins this year and he is also coming off his worst finish in 2015 (8th place in Hungary). He finished second at the Belgian Grand Prix last year.

Sebastian Vettel has won this race two times. He is third in the standings with 160 points, 42 points out of first. Vettel has this race last season and he has momentum on his side.

Daniel Ricciardo won this race last year and he is at a huge 125/1 to repeat his performance from 2014, when he started from fifth position to earn his second consecutive win.

Because of the changes to the start and the weather concerns at Spa I would be reluctant backing the Mercedes at cramped prices. Whilst wouldn’t expect the Ferrari to have the raw pace of the Mercedes, Vettel is at least a backable price, each way, in a race with more uncertainties than usual.


Sebastian Vettel 12-1 each way (1/3 odds 1,2) SkyBet